For the first time in his NBA career, Gordon Hayward is an All-Star.
The NBA announced the All-Star reserves Thursday night, and Gordon will represent the Utah Jazz on the Western Conference squad, making him the first Jazz All-Star since Deron Williams in 2011.
“I would like to thank Jazz fans for their support throughout my career, as well as the coaches for their votes,” Gordon said.” My teammates, our coaching and support staff helped put me in this position. We still have work to do, but I’m excited about the direction we’re headed. I look forward to representing Utah in New Orleans.”
G-Time is averaging a career-high 21.8 points per game, to go along with 5.7 rebounds (another career high), 3.4 assists and 1.0 steals per game. His scoring averaged has increased every season, including 19.3 to 19.7 over the past two seasons.
Now on pace to average well over 20 points for the first time in his career, the Brownsburg, Ind. native will take the court with the best basketball players in the world for the 2017 All-Star Game at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, Feb. 19.
“Thrilled for him and his family, (his wife) Robyn and the investment he’s made,” Jazz coach Quin Snyder said. “The belief that his teammates, the coaching staff and the organization has in him — I think everybody is really, really happy for him that he is recognized in that capacity. It’s a great thing for him.”
While it was a happy night for No. 20, his teammate, Rudy Gobert, came away as perhaps the biggest All-Star snub in the league. The budding French big man was disappointed he didn’t get the nod alongside Gordon, but he was nonetheless happy for his teammate.
“I’m very happy for him. I think he deserves it,” Gobert said. “That would have been fun if both of us would’ve been there, but I’m pretty happy for him.”
Gobert is first in the NBA in blocks per game, and he’s second in field goal percentage and fourth in rebounding, playing a critical role in the interior of the Jazz defense, which allows a league-leading 95.4 points per game. With that kind of success in mind, G-Time is confident that Gobert’s time will come as an All-Star.
“He’s been tremendous for us all year,” Gordon said of Gobert. “He’s an anchor for us defensively, just a presence. Guys have trouble scoring around the rim with him there. It gives me freedom to be more aggressive on the perimeter. He’s a guy that I think will get All-Star appearances in the future.”